When we think of business writing types, we usually think or letters, emails, and maybe reports. In fact, there are many more. And there are just as many types of writing skills required for all of these.
Here’s a brief look at the types of writing in business that you can expect if you choose a career in this field:
- What are the Three Types of Business Correspondence Writing?
Types of business correspondence writing include memos, letters, and memorandum. Each of these has a different format and style, and using the incorrect style can be a big mistake.
- Memos are internal communication pieces that are often sent electronically today. They use a familiar writing style that is informal in tone. These communications are often to make announcements or to remind staff of meetings, etc.
- Memorandum is formal memos and has a decidedly more business-like tone and structure. These are often used to inform staff of new policies or procedures, should have a “to” line, a “from” line, a “subject line” and a date, so that the time of issuance is clear for future reference.
- Letters are external communication, gong to clients, prospects, affiliates, etc. These are generally formal in style and tone and are written on letterhead stationery. They may be sent electronically, but should always be signed. Within this category, there are specific types of business letters – sales, proposal, follow-up, etc. Cover letters that accompany the application, letters of reference/recommendation and even resignation letters are also considered business letters. The common denominator here is that they are more formal in nature and style.
- Types of Proposal Writing
Just as with other types of writing in business, there are a few different types of proposal writing. First and foremost, the common denominator is that they are all pretty formal documents.
- One of the most common types of a business proposal is the Sales Proposal – a detailed document presented to a potential customer or client. This outlines exactly what that customer will receive for a specific amount of payment. One of the most common uses of these is by consultants who are offering their services to a client.
- Another common form of types of business proposals is one that is prepared for investors. Entrepreneurs with startups that need infusions of money often prepare these for presentation. This proposal outlines the goals of the company, the product or service to be offered, an analysis of the potential market, pricing, revenue projections, etc. There are templates for these all over the Internet to help a new business owner in his preparation.
- Still, another type of business proposal occurs in-house. While these may vary in topic, they are usually presented to superiors when a departmental or product change is being considered. A marketing manager, for example, may prepare a proposal for a re-organization of his department, adding staff perhaps. This will go up the chain of command for approval. The key element of this type of proposal will be details of the proposed change and the benefit to the organization.
There are as many types of reports as there are other types of business writing.
- Accountants prepare in-house financial reports on a quarterly basis, showing costs and revenue and making recommendations going forward.
- Sales managers prepare quarterly sales reports, so they may be compared with previous quarters and so that projected sales can be forecasted.
- HR departments prepare quarterly or annual reports for all things personnel-related, such as turnover, absenteeism, cost of benefits, etc.
- Annual reports are prepared for shareholders, so they have a pretty detailed overview of how the company has fared over the past year. These also include projections for future growth.
All of these types require various types of writing, but they are generally formal in tone and style and obviously contain graphs, charts, etc. Attention to detail, particularly when numbers are involved, is critical.
- Marketing and Promotional Materials
Various types of writing styles and tones are required for marketing.
- There are formal marketing materials that may be sent out to potential clients. These can be , brand identity items, etc. The main requirement is to detail offered products and/or services.
- There is content marketing produced for websites, blogs, and social media – these require a different type of writing skills, are informal, and can be entertaining, educational, or inspirational. Creativity is a definite requirement.
So, these are four broad categories of business writing types. As the concept ad nature of business in general changes, business writing will also change in nature. In general, traditional corporations will tend to maintain the more formal categories of writing, while newer companies, especially those that exist primarily online, will trend toward less formality.
The bottom line is this: if you are going to be involved in business writing, there are a myriad of writing skills you will need to develop.
When You Need Some Help
Not every business writer is skilled in all the types of writing he may need to produce. And learning how to be an effective business writer is a process. If you are struggling with your business writing, in any of the categories, a wise move is to usethat have a business and copywriting department – they can produce the writing pieces and documents you need.